Shop owner rejects call to close on Sundays

A businesswoman in Stornoway will continue to open her shop on a Sunday, in defiance of the Lord’s Day Observance Society.

Leona Rawlinson set up Tweedtastic – which sells bespoke products, jewellery and clothing  on Church Street in July and says she has received strong support from locals, including from Christians, for her decision to open on a Sunday. However, earlier this month the LDOS sent her a letter voicing their great regret and concern that the shop is open on Sunday.

The letter from Dan MacPhail, secretary of the Lewis and Harris branch, added: “The purpose of our letter is certainly not to intimidate you into closing on Sunday (that would not be following the example of our Lord) nor are we aware of any organised campaign in relation to this matter. However, it is a sincere and humble request that you consider closing the shop on the Lord’s Day.

“We are concerned for the spiritual and eternal as well as temporal consequences of Sunday opening and do not believe that lasting blessing or profit will follow. Indeed, we are award of many Christians expressing disappointment that such an interesting shop as Tweed Tastic (sic) is trading on Sundays and that solely because of this they are refusing to give of their patronage.”

Ms Rawlinson commented: “A lot of people who are Christian have come into the shop and have been hugely supportive of Tweedtastic opening on a Sunday – some have even given me gifts. They have said to me that the LDOS does not represent normal Christians and they do not speak for the majority. Lewis is a lovely island and the people are great. It is only a few hardliners who have a very negative way of looking at religion. I am still open on a Sunday,  I won’t be backing down on this.